Once again, Pakistan has called India, one last time, to the talking table. The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said ‘better sense should prevail’. “We should sit and resolve our issues through dialogue,” he said.
After two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets were shot down by the Pakistani Air Force (PAF), Khan addressed his nation. “Pakistan offered cooperation to investigate Pulwama attacks. There was no dispute, we were ready to cooperate.” Khan said he has a ‘hunch’ that India would engage in aggression and misadventure. “We did not retaliate against India because we did not know the extent of damage, today however, we took action.”
Furthermore, the Pakistani Prime Minister said that Pakistan is prepared for ‘dialogue on terrorism’. The Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said the Pakistani Army and air force had no option but respond after India’s air incursion. Ghafoor said they did not want to retaliate at the cost of regional peace. “Pakistan’s armed forces have the capability and capacity to respond.” He said the international community also has the responsibility. “In the current situation, Pakistan does not want to move towards war. From us, there is a message of peace. The international community must also come forward and see how the environment between Pakistan and India is a threat to peace and development, not just between the two countries but in the region and beyond.”
Ghafoor said Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war. “If that was the case, we could have easily engaged targets locked by the PAF, it would have resulted in human casualties and collateral damage. We deliberately avoided escalation.” He maintained that the ‘route to peace is through dialogue’. Now the ball is in India’s court. Whether it will embrace dialogue with Pakistan or opt for war.
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